Radio host Rob Kidd set to return to Mackay
THE AIRWAVES won't go silent but there will be a black hole left when broadcaster Rob Kidd drives out of town next week.
The lovable larrikin has been part of Gladstone's early morning breakfast listening on 4CC for the past five years, following an 18-month stint in 1997.
But reprogramming has given him an opportunity to return to radio in Mackay, where his two children live.
He said it was a heart-breaking decision to leave, and it wasn't until he wrote down the pros and cons that he came to his decision.
"I want to be a full-time dad," he said.
"But the biggest con is leaving this place.
"I am a local. I'm someone who loves this little town. I love the people in it."
On the advice of friend and former Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham, Rob immersed himself in Gladstone life and became a household name at many annual events.
He said he knew he'd "made it" when he appeared on the front of The Observer.
"That was my one goal being in this town, to be on the front page of the local Observer newspaper," he said.
"I don't know why. Is it the ego? It's the front page! It sounds childish but it was a great thing, because it's my local newspaper."
A big shift for Rob and the station occurred last year, when the owners who had bought the station realised the listeners wanted it returned from Zinc to the original 4CC.
"I'm proud, in the five years I've seen it grow, and certainly we've grown a lot since the rebranding - the adults have taken to it," he said.
"The station is healthy at a difficult time."
He said he was looking forward to his new challenge.
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Messages from the community:
Liz Cunningham, former Gladstone MP:
ROB has always been enthusiastic in his support for this community.
Whether on radio, at promotions or emceeing events, Rob's great sense of humour, generosity and sincerity have been hallmarks of his many contributions.
We have been richer for Rob's years here. Our loss is most certainly Mackay's gain.
Both John and I wish Rob happiness, success and most importantly more opportunities to share time with his family.
Thanks Rob - you're a champ!
Kate Russ, Rosella Park School principal:
ROB has been an amazing ambassador for the Gladstone community, and more personally Rosella Park School.
He has supported all of our school functions with such enthusiasm, and has constantly advocated for supporting people with a disability.
He has always been our best judge for the annual 'Rosella's got Talent' and without fail interacted with the students in a fun and truly genuine way.
We will all certainly miss seeing Rob at school, and in the wider community. All the best Rob!
OVER the past five years that Rob has been in Gladstone, listening to his breakfast show on the way into town every morning, during that time, was always a must, and where I could comment on the side, I would!
In saying that his ability to give up his time to help out community projects, groups, and events, was just astounding, and to have him volunteer as a GAPDL information centre ambassador was just gold!!
He will be missed! Sorry we never got out for a fish bud!
Maxine Brushe, BAM:
ROB is a genuinely great bloke and the Gladstone region will miss him heaps!
His all day, all night stint keeping locals informed during the flood events in recent years showed true dedication.
His inimitable interview style always focussed on the positives, whilst still getting the facts he was after.
His instant "yes" when asked to voluntarily emcee events, promotion of every event, and his love of the region will be well remembered.
Judy Whicker, RSPCA president:
HIS commitment to this region has been unbelievable.
Rob has always made himself available to the community at all times and I am sure that it must have infringed on his own personal life.
I thank him sincerely for the passion and dedication that he has given us and wish him all the best in Mackay and back closer to his children.
Mayor Gail Sellers:
More than just a radio announcer
He was the voice of the region,
Keeping the community informed
No wonder his fans are legion.
More than just a voice on the airwaves
He was an advocate for all that's local,
If a good cause needed promoting
You could be sure that he'd be vocal.
We'll miss his laugh and enthusiasm
And his ability to joke and jest,
Sadly, we must bid goodbye to Rob
To us, you were simply the best.